With an eye on the aggressive Chinese behaviour, the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal 2021 has sought fighter jet training detachment for India, Japan and Australia in the US Pacific territory of Guam. The move comes six months after the US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen signed a
memorandum of understanding for Singapore to set up a fighter jet training detachment in Guam.
The text of NDAA 2021, for the fiscal year beginning October 1, was introduced in the Senate on Thursday. The act directs the Secretary of Defense submit to the congressional defense committees a report assessing the merit and
feasibility of entering into agreements similar to that of Singapore with other US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, to include Japan, Australia, and India. The US-Singapore memorandum is meant for approximately a squadron’s worth of Republic of Singapore Air Force fighter jets and associated personnel. The Singapore training presence is expected to begin around 2029.
The decision comes around 6 months after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed an MOU with Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen for the latter to set up a similar pilot training detachment in Guam.
The bill emphasizes on the Pacific Deterrence Initiative of the US Military and to focus more resources on the Indo-Pacific region.
Furthermore, the act proposes the procurement of 48 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs), to be deployed in the Indo-Pacific region.
NDAA also seeks acceleration in the effort to establish F-35A operating locations forward in the Indo-pacific region.
The act demands the US Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees assessing the feasibility and merit of entering into agreements with other US allies like the one with Singapore and all-weather partners in the Indo-Pacific region, such as India, Japan and Australia.
The US-Singapore agreement is for a squadron of Republic of Singapore Air Force fighter jets and respective personnel. The Singapore training exercise will commence around 2029.